Credit: Diarmuid Ó Cadhla

“Suspension of Constitutional rights “: anti-lockdown protest spokesman arrested ahead of event in Cork

A Campaigner and former councillor has said that an anti-lockdown event planned for Easter Saturday will go ahead despite his arrest at a protest yesterday in Cork city centre. 

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla was one of three men arrested on St Patrick’s Bridge yesterday afternoon while holding banner saying “No to Lockdown”. They were taken to Bridewell Garda Station and charged in relation to Covid-19 regulation breaches.

A fellow campaigner, Cian Ó Conchubhair, said that the “arrest of a political campaigner during a peaceful protest” was due to the ongoing “suspension of the Irish Constitution”.

“On April 1st, the Attorney General advised the Dublin Government that NEPHT’s proposal to quarantine EU citizens visiting Ireland may be unconstitutional – yet on the same day, the Gardaí in Cork arrested a political campaigner Diarmaid Ó Cadhla for holding a peaceful protest,” he said.

“It begs the question: why are Irish constitutional rights suspended for Irish citizens, yet EU rights are protected for EU nationals? It has been over a year since the first Covid restrictions were introduced into Ireland, and in that time aspects of the Irish Constitution have been suspended by politicians, in what they say is “in the interest of public health.” Yet a proposal by NEPHT nearly a year ago to bring in mandatory quarantine for members of EU countries with high Covid infection rates was rejected as being ‘potentially’ unconstitutional,” he said.

“This likely means that any EU citizen not resident in Ireland can travel freely in, out, and around Ireland, yet Irish citizens are bound by law to obey restrictions that limit their ability to work, earn a living, travel, meet family, or in Diarmaid’s case peacefully protest,” Mr Ó Conchubhair said.

“While countries like New Zealand and Australia (and China where the virus originated), have successfully curbed the spread of Covid by restricting travellers as opposed to restricting the rights of its own citizens by having national lockdowns, Ireland has taken the opposite approach of keeping borders open to serve the rights of EU citizens, severely limiting the rights of its own citizens as “collateral damage.” So how long will Ireland’s constitution remain suspended for and is that constitutional? And secondly, must Ireland remain in constant quarantine to protect the travel rights of EU citizens who keep reinfecting Ireland with Covid? These are questions that Diarmaid Ó Cadhla has being raising, but apparently that is against the law according to the Dublin Government if it is in the form of a public protest. Is that legal, he added.

The arrests come ahead of another planned anti-lockdown protest for Easter Sunday, called the ‘Parade for Truth and Proper Public Healthcare’ on social media.

Mr Ó Cadhla said the event would go ahead and it’s focus was on “people’s right to voluntary control of their own health”. He said all of the events in Cork opposing the lockdown had been peaceful protests.

“It’s a peaceful event and we will march from the Grand Parade up Patrick Street as far as Brown Thomas, where the last Rally for Truth was held, and there’ll be speakers and musicians there. It’s a family friendly day,” he said.

“Speakers [will] address the very important issues of health care, of people’s right to voluntary control of their own health, people’s right not to have a vaccine if they choose not to do so, not to wear a mask if they choose not to do so.

“But at the same time recognising others’ rights, if they wish to do those things.”

An Garda Síochána said:  “Where An Garda Síochána can identify potential organisers of such events, An Garda Síochána has and will engage with and advise those organisers as to the current Public Health Regulations, their responsibilities and potential consequences.”

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

The biggest problem Ireland faces right now is:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...